By Junno Arocho Esteves
Catholic News Service
KRAKOW, Poland – Pope Francis told young people they are not called to be couch potatoes, living boring lives, but should leave their mark in history and not let others determine their future.
Stopping at a wooden Door of Mercy inscribed with the words “Jesus, I trust in you” in five languages, he was greeted by several young men and women. Hand-in-hand with the pope, they entered through the door.
The pope then surprised the youths by inviting them aboard the popemobile. Visibly emotional and wide-eyed, the youths boarded the vehicle and joined Pope Francis, waving at the crowd.
Natalia, a young Polish woman from Lodz, spoke of her experience of encountering the love of God through the sacrament of reconciliation after 20 years of “not having anything in common with the church.”
World Youth Day pilgrims wait for Pope Francis to arrive for a prayer vigil July 30 at the Field of Mercy in Krakow, Poland. (CNS Photo/Bob Roller)
The pope then invited everyone present to hold hands and pray silently, asking them to “place before the Lord your own battles, the interior struggles that each of you carries in his or her heart.”